A couple of years ago, two geographers created one of the most chilling maps you'll ever see - it shows what kinds of natural hazards are most likely to kill you in America. And which regions are the most deadly.

After poring over statistics compiled between 1970 and 2004, University of South Carolina geographers Kevin A Borden and Susan L Cutter discovered that the midwest is more likely to kill you, and California is the least likely. They also made a chart showing the deadliest kinds of natural hazards.


Even though "severe weather" and winter seem like they'd be the deadliest disasters, it turns out that summer heat and drought are marginally more likely to make corpses.

Write the authors:

Chronic everyday hazards such as severe weather (summer and winter) and heat account for the majority of natural hazard fatalities. The regions most prone to deaths from natural hazards are the South and intermountain west, but sub-regional county-level mortality patterns show more variability. There is a distinct urban/rural component to the county patterns as well as a coastal trend. Significant clusters of high mortality are in the lower Mississippi Valley, upper Great Plains, and Mountain West, with additional areas in west Texas, and the panhandle of Florida, Significant clusters of low mortality are in the Midwest and urbanized Northeast . . . It is important to view natural hazard mortality through a geographic lens so as to better inform the public living in such hazard prone areas, but more importantly to inform local emergency practitioners who must plan for and respond to disasters in their community.


Consider yourself warned.

Read the whole paper, and look at some even more detailed mortality charts, via the International Journal of Health Geographics


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